Shanghai based SAIC Motor reported a slight year on year rise in global sales in April 2020, of 0.5% to 433,000 units, after a steep decline in the first quarter of the year due to the outbreak of the COVID-19 coronavirus in the country.
The data included sales of major joint ventures such as SAIC-GM (see earlier report) and SAIC-VW, as well as of majority- and wholly-owned subsidiaries, with the improvement attributed to government policies introduced to support the market and the overall economy.
SAIC Motor's April sales included 413,000 domestic sales, up by 1.3%, and 20,000 overseas sales.
In the first quarter of 2020, the state owned automaker reported a 55.7% year on year sales decline to 679,028 units.
The Chinese central government, along with a large number of local governments, introduced a wide range of measures to help lift local vehicle sales, including lifting limits on the issue of new licence plates, extending sales incentives for new energy vehicles, cutting interest rates and easing minimum capital requirements for banks.
The China Passenger Car Association secretary general, Cui Dongshu, expects a V-shaped recovery in the vehicle market this year thanks in large part to "favourable government policies that are helping to promote future sustainable development of the industry and to help lift automobile consumption in China".
Local carmakers have also introduced new sales approaches, including online vehicle launches and increased use of video streaming to reach consumers under lockdown.
SAIC Motor said it planned to intensify its marketing and promotional campaigns during the peak selling season of May and June.